May 11, 2018
May 11, 2018
President Trump is expected to make an announcement today detailing his plans to lower prescription drug pricing. Curbing the cost of drugs was a key part of Trump’s platform during the election in 2016.
The administration had previously set multiple dates to release the plan, but all were rescheduled. Critics are concerned that the proposal will not do enough to help consumers, given Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar’s ties to drug manufacturers as the former president of Eli Lily.
Both Secretary Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma have signaled they would like to amend the fee schedule for Medicare Part B, which covers chemotherapy treatments and other physician-administered drugs. Under the current system, health care providers are reimbursed for the average cost of the drugs, plus a 6 percent add-on fee that covers the cost of administering the drug. Verma said this system does not work and “creates a perverse incentive for manufacturers to set higher prices, and for providers to pick drugs that are more expensive.”
We will continue to monitor the issue of drug pricing and provide updates as they become available.
E-cigarettes have grown immensely in popularity in the last decade. Many kids and teenagers who have never smoked traditional cigarettes before are starting to vape or smoke e-cigarettes.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes e-cigarettes may be a better alternative for currently addicted adult smokers than traditional cigarettes, but there is absolutely no benefit to kids or teens using e-cigarettes.
Some e-cigarette companies are targeting young people with kid-friendly flavors and packaging that resemble candy, cookies and juice boxes. Last week, the FDA issued warnings to e-cigarette companies using these tactics.
“No child should be using any tobacco product, and no tobacco products should be marketed in a way that endangers kids, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new devices, there are still many unknowns about the potential long-term risks. However, we do know that most e-cigarette contain nicotine (typically derived from tobacco), which causes addiction and can harm brain development. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds the FDA for cracking down on e-cigarette companies that target kids and teenagers.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the U.S., affecting more than two million people every year. May kicks off warmer weather that makes everyone want to spend more time outside, but it’s also Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Keep these tips in mind whenever you head outside, and make it your mission this month and every month to spread the word about the dangers of the sun.